South West Scotland

Larbrax beach near PortpatrickThings to do in Dumfries and Galloway

With 200 miles of coastline, there are lots of beautiful deserted beaches to choose from close to our holiday cottage and nearby Portpatrick.

Kirlauchline is ideal for walking, hiking, rambling, and mountain biking holidays. Nearby you’ll find great golf courses, sea fishing, and boat trips. Nature lovers will enjoy exploring rock pools, seal and sea birds spotting or simply relaxing in the sun.

Portpatrick attractions

  • A busy day in PortpatrickCampbell’s Restaurant in Portpatrick is highly recommended (our favourite), but booking is essential.
  • The Mount Stewart in Portpatrick serves good food in the bar or restaurant as does The Crown, The Waterside, and The Harbour House .
  • If you fancy Fish and Chips then there’s “Chips Ahoy” on the Harbourside in Portpatrick too.
  • The RNLI shop and visitor centre is worth a visit whilst in Portpatrick and there are often exercises out at Sea for you to watch. Portpatrick Lifeboat Week in the summer is a week-long annual event in Portpatrick.
  • Coreswall Lighthouse, in the north Rhinns with views towards Arran and the Ailsa Craig, has a 5 star restaurant as does Knockingham Lodge Hotel and The Fernhill Hotel in Portpatrick.
  • There are lovely gift shops in Portpatrick, selling local arts, crafts and produce.
  • Portpatrick audio tour is a fantastic way to find out the history of the village and what the village has to offer.

Dumfries and Galloway beaches

  • Ardwell bay in the South Rhinns of GallowayArdwell Bay is a beautiful sandy beach about a 10 minute drive from the cottage and you are almost sure of being the only people there – visit the bay to watch the seals or to explore rock pools.
  • Port Logan (where the TV programme “2000 Acres of Sky” was filmed) has a lovely beach with the “Logan Fish Pond” at one end and The Port Logan Inn at the other.
  • Sandhead beach has a children’s playground and is a long stretch of golden sand in Luce bay. The “Tigh Na Mara” is a lovely place to stop for lunch or dinner too.

There are lots more beautiful beaches to explore – Larbrax Beach, New England Bay, Wig Bay, Drummore, Drumbreddan to name just a few. All are pin pointed on our useful map inside the cottage.

Golfing in Dumfries and Galloway

Dunskey golf course, PortpatrickThere are 29 golf courses in Dumfries and Galloway with no restricted tee times and crowded fairways.

  • The Tiger Trail spans the top 6 courses in Dumfries and Galloway.
  • The Challenge Trail is perfect for most golfers, combining diverse landscapes and course designs.
  • The Little Gems Trail, is ideal if you want to take things easy, or enjoy a family day on the greens with children or people new to the game.

Gardens in the Portpatrick area

Exotic plants at the Logan Botanic Gardens in the Rhinns of GallowayThe warm air from the gulf stream allows plants and palm trees to flourish in this part of South West Scotland. There are tropical gardens or formal gardens to choose from.

  • A selection of beautiful gardens are close to Portpatrick, including the Logan Botanic GardensLogan House Gardens, Ardwell Gardens, Glenwhan Gardens (now a four star garden), Dunskey Gardens and Castle Kennedy Gardens. Visit all six beautiful gardens in this south west corner of Scotland with a ‘garden passport‘. Each of the gardens has something unique and special to offer in every season – pick up your garden passport at any of the gardens, or download one from the web site and enjoy discounted entry fees.
  • Galloway House Gardens – open all year. Near Garlieston, this is an outstanding coastal garden, with woodland walks and a large sandy beach.

Walking, hiking and rambling holidays

Views from the cliff tops above Portpatrick, the start of the Southern Upland WayTackle Scotland’s longest and most challenging 212 mile coast-to-coast route – the Southern Upland Way. The walk starts from Portpatrick and you can walk and enjoy the stunning views and explore sandy coves along the way. A walk to Killantrigan Lighthouse is well worth doing.


Take a walk on the wild side in Dumfries and Galloway. Here you can see so much wildlife in it’s natural habitat – Roe Deer, Hares, Buzzards, Seals, Basking Sharks, Dolphins and Porpoise, Sea Birds, Geese, red squirrels and lots lots more. This area is a photographers paradise!

The Galloway Forest Park

The Galloway Forest Park is only half an hours drive from the cottage, with some of the highest mountains in Scotland. The park offers walks of varying lengths and difficulties and you can visit the Wild Goat Park and Red Deer reserve. Look for otters by the otter pools or take a drive along one of the specially created vehicle tracks (Raiders road) through the forest.

The otter pool in the Galloway Forest ParkScotland’s Dark Sky Park

Galloway Night Sky Park has one of the world’s best views of the night sky. As the UK’s only designated Dark Sky park, a visit to the area is a must for everyone interested in astronomy.

Bladnoch Distillery

No holiday in Scotland is complete without visiting a distillery. In nearby Bladnoch you can find Scotland’s most southerly distillery, producing spirit of the Lowlands” whisky. There is a visitor centre with tours and samples of whisky, a whisky school and souvenir shop.

Around Dumfries and Galloway

  • The Mull of Galloway LighthouseAyr is just over an hour away by car and you can find the larger department stores there as well as local shops too.
  • In Stranraer, there are supermarkets and larger stores as well as the smaller local gift shops too. If you fancy a day trip to Belfast then Stena line sail from Stranraer (Cairnryan as from 21st November 2011).
  • The Mull of Galloway in the South Rhinns is Scotland’s most southerly point with the Lighthouse and RSPB reserve. There’s a lovely restaurant there too serving drinks, snacks and meals, as well as the delicious “Cream O’ Galloway” Ice Cream.
  • Bruces Stone – open all year round. New Galloway. The granite boulder on Moss Rapploch marks the spot where Bruce defeatedthe english in 1307. It is said that Bruce rested against this stone after the battle.
  • St Ninians Cave – Whithorn, open all year. Early crosses found here are on display at Whithorn museum. Weathered crosses in the caves are still visible.
  • Why not follow the Wicker Man locations – film released in 1973, starring Edward Woodward, Christopher Lee, and Britt Eckland. This British thriller tells the story of a devout Christian policeman who is called out to a remote Scottish island by a worried resident regarding the disappearance of a missing child.
  • Sunset at Coreswall Lighthouse Hotel with views towards Arran and Ailsa CraigLoch Ryan – Stranraer/Wig Bay. Enclosed sea loch with mudflats and shingle spit at Wig Bay. Plenty to see all year round – wintering divers, grebes, waders and wildfowl. World War 2 flying boats were based at Wig Bay and there are still signs to see here and other places around the loch.
  • Drummore is the largest and most southerly of all the Rhinns villages.
  • Ailsa Craig – Just up the Coast towards Ayr. Now a bird sanctuary and the granite from the island is used to make curling stones. Boat trips can be taken across to the rock from the port of Girvan .

There’s so much to see and do here in South West Scotland, something for everyone –  Visit our for the latest information on where to go and @kirklauchline, what’s on and what to see. Our Photostream can be found on Flickr too.

For more information about Dumfries and Galloway and links to web sites across South West Scotland please visit Dumfries and Galloway online